Basketball

Former NBA star Brandon Roy, No. 22 Nathan Hale (Seattle) got big assist from a map

Seemingly overnight, Nathan Hale (Seattle) went from a 3-18 outfit a year ago to No. 22 in the USA Today Super 25. How so quick a turnaround?

As it turns out, the program could have Brandon Roy and his use of his phone’s map application largely to thank.

This interesting feature from Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times describes how the former University of Washington and Portland Trailblazers basketball star came to be the head boys basketball coach at Nathan Hale. As Evans describes, Roy’s original plan was to be an assistant coach for friend and former UW teammate Jamaal Williams. Then Williams took a job at Thomas Jefferson (Auburn, Wash.), about a 33-mile drive from Roy’s home in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood.

“Nah, I’m not driving that far south and sitting traffic,” Roy told the Times that he told Williams. “Jamaal called me later and said he heard Nathan Hale was available if I wanted to be head coach. I had never been to Nathan Hale. I had to look it up.”

Some map searches to check drive-times helped persuade Roy to take the job at the northeast Seattle school roughly 20 minutes from his home.

RELATED: Motivation Monday: Five-star wing Michael Porter Jr. on what fuels his grind

What came next for the three-time NBA All-Star was quite the confluence of events. The Porter brothers, five-star wing Michael Jr. and Jontay – both committed to play at Washington – and Coban, a 6-3 freshman guard, knew in May they’d relocate from Missouri when their father, Michael, took a job as an assistant coach on Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies staff.

“We weren’t considering Nathan Hale at all when we first moved to Seattle,” Porter Jr. told the Times. “Then we heard (Brandon) might be coaching at the school and thought, ‘Wow, that would be a unique experience.’ We can go into this together and try to make something great happen.”

Read Evans’ entire piece from the Times here.

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